Tuesday, 1 September 2009
William Hill and Ayr Racecourse celebrate Burns anniversary
with new trophies for Gold Cup and Silver Cup
BOOKMAKERS William Hill, sponsors of the historic Ayr Gold Cup at Ayr Racecourse on 19 September, are commemorating this year’s Homecoming celebrations and the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns by commissioning a pair of gold and silver trophies (pictured below) for the winning connections of the William Hill (Ayr) Gold and Silver Cups.
Renowned Silversmith Graham Stewart from Dunblane was approached by William Hill chief executive Ralph Topping, himself a resident of the Trossachs, after Topping had seen examples of Grahams work at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood.
“Homecoming year is very special for Scotland,” said Topping, “and lifting the William Hill Gold Cup is also a very special achievement. So I wanted the winning owners of this great race to take away something quintessentially Scottish this year in celebration. I think Graham has captured the magic of Burns with the two magnificent trophies he has created for us.”
Stewart has hand crafted two Sterling Silver and Gold trophies, each hand-chased with an inscription from Robert Burns himself. Taken from the poem “The Auld Farmer’s New-Year Morning Salutation to his Auld Mare, Maggie,” the words seem appropriate to a horse who has just proved itself to be amongst the fastest in the land.
“That day, ye was a jinker noble,
For heels an’ win’!
An’ ran them till they a’ did wauble,
Far, far, behin’!
For the first time, both the Gold and Silver Cups will be run on the same day this year (Saturday 19 September) with the addition of a William Hill Bronze Cup now the highlight of Ladies Day on Friday 18 September.
In addition to the trophies there will be commemorative mementos for the winning jockeys and trainers, again specially commissioned from Graham Stewart.
The total prize money for the 2009 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival will top £600,000 with the 27 runners in the six-furlong Gold Cup chasing a pot of £150,000, making it Europe’s richest sprint handicap.
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